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Emre Kose @emrekosesy
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Not so long ago, the Russian pro-opposition outlet The Insider, together with the "expert group" Bellingcat, published an investigation about the MH-17 plane crash. I'm gonna try to explain the arguments of @cyberberkut2 about this investigation. #thread
In this article, 'journalists' tried to show that the Russian government is directly responsible for the Malaysian MH-17 crash, which was shot down over the territory of Ukraine in 2014: bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-eu…
In particular, the article features the name of Oleg Ivannikov, whom journalists call the "Commander of the GRU", working under the pseudonym "Oreon". According to the editors, he is the main suspect involved in this case.
The first thing that catches your eyes is the given evidence. On closer examination, the arguments proving Ivannikov's participation in MH-17 crash are more similar to information sink organized by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) sputniknews.com/europe/2017083…
The Insider was founded in November 2013 by a member of the Solidarity movement, Roman Dobrokhotov, who is currently its editor-in-chief. The resource specializes in conducting journalistic investigations, which are clearly anti-Russian.
Information on the sources of funding of The Insider is not available on public site, they are also not listed on their website.
According to the TV channel "Tsargrad", one of the investors of The Insider is M. Khodorkovsky, known for his prejudiced attitude towards the current Russian leadership: tsargrad.tv/articles/a-sud…
We will remind, the disgraced oligarch has stayed in the Russian prison, and after pardon, he fled the country.
Since 2017, The Insider has been cooperating with the international expert-journalistic group Bellingcat, which publishes materials on military conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and a number of other countries.
It is noteworthy that the project was launched by British journalist Eliot Higgins on July 14, 2014, just three days before the events with the MH-17.
And his first job was to investigate the cases like that. At the same time, many questions are raised by the competence of Higgins. According to him, he derived his knowledge about weapons from Schwarzenegger and Stallone movies.
Here it is worth recalling that Bellingcat initially claimed that Russia was to blame for the tragic incident, without providing any objective evidence. Bellingcat investors are among the Open Society Foundation. Other one is an American analytical center, Atlantic Council.
Open Society Foundation is sponsored by billionaire George Soros, who openly declared the need for a change in the ruling regimes in post-Soviet countries. The second organization is created by representatives of the Western elites and works under the aegis of NATO.
Despite the declared goals on the formation of a constructive international dialogue, Atlantic Council is engaged in the dissemination of anti-Russian propaganda and receives funds from the US Department of Defense.
Atlantic Council do not even hide that Higgins works for them. On the organization's website, he is listed as a senior researcher: atlanticcouncil.org/about/experts/…
Now it becomes clear why the materials of The Insider and Bellingcat are biased against the Russian Federation. Receiving funding from organizations that do not hide their hostility towards Moscow, "investigative journalists" simply can not be objective.
Now let's turn to so-called investigation that The Insider and Bellingcat obtained from "open sources".
It is noteworthy that various anonymous persons, including "one journalist" and some "other employee", repeatedly appear as sources of information in the material.
Receptions of this kind indicate the impossibility of disclosing the source of information. So which open sources are we talking about then?
For example, the question arises where journalists could learn about Ivannikov's crossing to South Ossetia in 2013. At the same time, with such details as "the Commander of the GRU" was "in a car registered at the FSB".
This is very similar to American films about "Russian intelligence", where all power structures, their names and abbreviations are woven together.
But if we seriously touch on this issue, most likely, this is the result of serious work of the special services, possibly the SBU and their Western curators who hacked or bought closed electronic databases of personal data.
Undoubtedly, it is absolutely impossible to find this kind of information from open sources, despite the very "rich" experience of the above-named journalists.
In turn, the reliability of the data provided by the SBU raises many doubts among serious experts and analysts.
The unprincipled methods of work of the SBU can be judged from a loud scandal around the incident with the murder and "resurrection" of journalist Arkady Babchenko: rt.com/news/429180-na…
Judging by the actions of the SBU, the main instruments for them are provocation, staging, manipulation and distortion of facts. Undoubtly, in the case of "exposing Ivannikov", some of these methods were used.
It seems that investigative journalists give weighty arguments, revealing some facts about the personality of the "Commander of the GRU".
However, upon closer examination, the reliability of the described methods of obtaining information raises a number of questions, and all their proofs are based on data that can easily be fabricated.
SBU published a record of a telephone conversation of Andrei Ivanovich with the call sign "Oreon."
Bellingcat, through the application TrueCaller, made sure that it was him, they checked through an unnamed Ukrainian journalist the traffic of this number and found four incoming Russian numbers.
And then, they identified these numbers by the mobile application databases TrueCaller, GetContact.
Services on one of the numbers gave out the names of "Ivannikov" and "Andrei Ivanovich GRU from Husky". The investigators concluded that it was one and the same person.
The Insider, by searching in Yandex and Google, found that from this number, they made an order for the address where the headquarters of the GRU is located.
Through phonenumber.to found his address and home phone. The journalists called Ivannikov, compared both voices and said finally that the person with the call sign "Oreon" is the same Ivannikov.
At first glance, everything is very logical. But, as you know, the devil is in the details. First, consider how "Oreon" could be in TrueCaller? The SBU publishes a video on the YouTube where the Ukrainian number, signed as "Oreon", is indicated.
For investigative journalists, SBU employees, or other persons interested in the "right" course of the investigation, it was not difficult for the individuals to create the necessary contact under the name "Oreon" and put it in an open database.
The second explanation may be the fact that some users, after watching this video, and having decided to independently conduct an investigation, have kept this number in their contacts, and later with help of TrueCaller application they were opened to them.
Thus, lovers of conspiracy created their desired character and thus helped the SBU in its search.
Belligcat wrote that:
There are also a number of inconsistencies here. How could a journalist get access to mobile number traffic data, if it is private information?
Under the law on telecommunications, Ukrainian cellular operators are required to keep records of the telecommunications services provided only during the limitation period.
According to this, the period of data storage of the "Oreon" phone was over in July 2017. It follows that at the beginning of 2018 an "anonymous Ukrainian journalist" could not access any data from this number (incoming, outgoing calls and text messages).
In addition, in the investigation of Bellingcat it was mentioned that the mobile number of the "Oreon" was almost blocked after the publication of the SBU "interception of a telephone conversation" in July 2014.
If you carefully read the materials of the investigation Bellingcat, it is absolutely unclear how "Oreon" is identified by "Andrei Ivanovich." The question is why "Andrei Ivanovich" called from his Ukrainian to the Russian number, if he and "Oreon" are one person.
But at the same time the whole investigation is based on the identification of the voice of the "Oreon" with the wiretapping of the SBU and "Ivannikov's voice" from the conversation with the journalists.
By the way, The Insider modestly omitted this nuance, possibly understanding the absurdity of the arguments of colleagues from Bellingcat. Actually after that the investigation already smacks of profanity and it's not serious about it.
In their investigation, The Insider and Bellingcat hid from readers the number they gave out for the contacts of the "Commander of the GRU", thus forcing them to take their word for it.
In fact, any person who has two smartphones on which the same number will be recorded differently, will be able to do the same manipulation and create the same images, as indicated in the investigation.
By allowing access to their contacts to applications such as TrueCaller or GetContact, the user automatically adds their contacts to a single database. Therefore, it is not difficult to find fake recordings "Andrei Ivanovich GRU from Husky" and "Ivannikov" in these applications.
At the same time, it seems doubtful that in reality to communicate with a man from intelligence, his number would be written down with the abbreviation of the power structure to which he belongs. Therefore, the record "Andrei Ivanovich GRU from Husky" looks simply illogical.
In fact, journalists are trying to give out a lime address, which they allegedly found using the phonenumber.to website.
Having registered on the site-search engine, you can create in any minutes any account containing information such as name, phone number, city and address of residence.
According to investigators, with the help of Google and Yandex search engines, they found an open database of a dysfunctional Russian online store, in which the Russian phone number they had installed was displayed.
According to them, from this number a user named "Oleg" ordered their goods in 2017, and not just somewhere, but directly to the headquarters of the GRU.
Yet Cyber Berkut managed to find the site of this online store, which is said by investigators from Bellingcat and The Insider. They had a hacked database of pokupki.top.
It is noteworthy that in this database any person can make edits, for example, change the name of the customer and his phone number, or even create a new order. This already suggests that the phone number of "Oleg" could not be there at all because he was shopping in this store.
So, what could we learn about the store? For a start, this online store is not popular  - it is not indexed in search engines and is not in the lists of popular aggregator stores "Yandex. Market".
In addition, there are no reviews about it, and third-party resources are not referenced or advertised, even there is no feedback.
Would you make purchases in such a place? Finally, pokupki.top is located on the IP-address registered in the territory of Ukraine, and there is no other information about the owner of the site.
As a result, don't you think it's absurd that Ivannikov made an order in a completely non-reassuring trust online store, which even the method of conventional Internet search to find quite problematic?
A simple description of this above methods: Chose the editor of The Insider, Roman Dobrokhotov, one of the authors of the "investigation" about Ivannikov. And here's what happened:
''One journalist told us about a member of the Ukrainian special services working in Russia under the cover of the editor-in-chief of a Moscow newspaper.''
"Our source in the Security Service in Moscow confirmed that they really work their man, who uses the callsign "Dobriy", and provided the number. And so we also decided to check this number in the GetContact application.''
With the help of applications, we found out that this number belongs to Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider. This, by the way, is evidenced by the database of Phonenumber.to:
Thanks to search engines Google and "Yandex" we found that the owner of the specified phone number likes to make orders in online stores. In particular, he ordered an epilation cream on the site pokupki.top.
In addition to Internet purchases of Dobrokhotov in the Google and Yandex search engines, you can also find Roman's records in various forums.
One such record was found on the site schiza.net, where people who suffer from schizophrenia and other mental illnesses discuss their problems.
The user of "Roman Dobriy" writes that he is seen everywhere by the FSB. It is noteworthy that the name "Dobriy" coincides with the name of the subscriber in the phone base of the application GetContact.
It is not surprising that in his investigations Dobrokhotov writes about the employees of the Russian law enforcement agencies. Most likely, Roman really has a psychological disorder, which he told on the schiza.net forum.
Now we are very confident, we can say that the employee of the Ukrainian special services, who works in Moscow under the guise of a journalist, is Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider. In addition, "Roman is experiencing serious problems with the psyche."
The investigation also includes audio recordings that were uploaded to the media resource SoundCloud. At the same time, it is not possible to verify their authenticity and lack of installation at all.
Therefore, such weighty conclusions and such high-profile accusations of belonging and similarity of votes are at least incompetent.
Again, if we return to the fact that the female voice belongs to the "Commander of the GRU", then again the ridiculous question arises: How did a person with pronounced distinctive features come to serve in one of the most secret intelligence services in the world?
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